Originally, Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting had planned to "spill the beans" about his Democrat counterpart, Hillary Clinton, but the Islamist attack in Orlando called for a slight change of plans.
Instead, he focused his speech Monday at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire on taking a strong position to protect and defend all Americans from hate and violence, to strengthen homeland security by renewing intelligence-gathering and supporting law enforcement, to conduct a full and long overdue security assessment, and to enact a commonsense mainstream immigration policy that promotes American values. But that doesn't mean he exactly held off on his criticism of the former secretary of state.
Trump first opened his speech with an acknowledgment of the attack and the pain and suffering of those affected by it.
"The attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was the worst terrorist strike on our soil since September 11, and the worst mass shooting in our country's history," he said. "So many people dead, so many people gravely injured, so much carnage, such a disgrace. The horror is beyond description.
"The families of these wonderful people are totally devastated. Likewise, our whole nation, and indeed the whole world, is devastated. We express our deepest sympathies to the victims, the wounded and their families. We mourn, as one people, for our nation's loss—and pledge our support to any and all who need it."
He followed that brief statement with a moment of silence for the victims of the attack.
Trump said singling out the LGBT nightclub and murdering people based on their perceived sexual orientation was a "strike at the heart and soul of who we are as a nation." It was an assault, he added, on "the ability of free people to live their lives," and an attack on the rights of every American's right to live in peace and safety.
"We need to respond to this attack on America as one united people—with force, purpose and determination," he said. "But the current politically correct response cripples our ability to talk and think and act clearly. If we don't get tough and we don't get smart—and fast—we're not going to have a country anymore. There will be nothing left."
Trump said he refused to mention the killer by name, but did discuss his father's background—what is known of it publicly—as a supporter of the Taliban. He noted "the only reason the killer was in America" was because the U.S. government allowed his family immigrate.
"We have a dysfunctional immigration system which does not permit us to know who we let into our country, and it does not permit us to protect our citizens," he said. "We have an incompetent administration, and if I am not elected president, that will not change over the next four years—but it must change, and it must change now.
"With 50 people dead, and dozens more wounded, we cannot afford to talk around the issue anymore—we have to address it head on. I called for a ban after San Bernardino and was met with great scorn and anger but now, many are saying I was right to do so—and although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on.
"The ban will be lifted when we as a nation are in a position to properly and perfectly screen those people coming into our country."
Trump said U.S. immigration laws would already allow him to do so, if elected. He said he would use that power to protect the American people. And after a "long overdue" security assessment, he said he would develop a "responsible immigration policy" that serves both the interests and the values of America.
"We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer," he said. "Many of the principles of radical Islam are incompatible with Western values and institutions. Radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-American.
"I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people and Jewish people, are the targets of persecution and intimidation by radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence. It's not just a national security issue. It is a quality of life issue.
"If we want to protect the quality of life for all Americans—women and children, gay and straight, Jews and Christians, and all people—then we need to tell the truth about Radical Islam. We need to tell the truth, also, about how Radical Islam is coming to our shores."
Trump said America's failed immigration system is hamstrung by an intelligence community being "held back" by President Obama. He rattled off a long list of security concerns that are a direct result of that system.
"If we want to remain a free and open society, then we have to control our borders," he said. "Yet, Hillary Clinton—for months and despite so many attacks—repeatedly refused to even say the words 'radical Islam,' until I challenged her yesterday to say the words or leave the race."
He accused Clinton of having "no clue what Radical Islam is," and alleging she won't "speak honestly" about it with Americans. He added that her gun control plans would disarm law-abiding Americans, abolish the Second Amendment, and "leave only the bad guys and terrorists with guns."
"She wants to take away Americans' guns, then admit the very people who want to slaughter us," he said.
Trump said he would work with the NRA to develop a plan to ensure Americans have the means to protect themselves. Refusing to "be politically correct," he said he will "do the right thing" to straighten America out, and that he will give the U.S. intelligence community, law enforcement and military the tools they need to prevent terrorist attacks.
"We need an intelligence-gathering system second to none. That includes better cooperation between state, local and federal officials—and with our allies," he said. "I will have an Attorney General, a Director of National Intelligence, and a Secretary of Defense who will know how to fight the war on Radical Islamic Terrorism—and who will have the support they require to get the job done."
Trump also pledged more transparency, saying the American people must be provided the information they need to understand the threat they face. This includes providing Congress with the information it has requested regarding "the immigration history of all terrorists inside the United States."
"Each year, the United States permanently admits more than 100,000 immigrants from the Middle East, and many more from Muslim countries outside the Middle East," he added. "Our government has been admitting ever-growing numbers, year after year, without any effective plan for our security.
"In fact, Clinton's State Department was in charge of the admissions process for people applying to enter from overseas. Having learned nothing from these attacks, she now plans to massively increase admissions without a screening plan, including a 500-percent increase in Syrian refugees."
The burden, Trump said, is on Clinton to explain how her proposal would actually work and keep Americans safe.
He added that the Orlando attack "demands a full and complete investigation." Americans need to know what the killer discussed with his relatives, parents, friends and associates, whether or not he was affiliated with any radical mosques, and whether or not he had contact with radical activists.
"We need to make sure every single last person involved in this plan—including anyone who knew something but didn't tell us—is brought to justice," he said. "If it can be proven that somebody had information about any attack, and did not give this information to authorities, they must serve prison time."
Trump said the current foreign policy of the U.S. has reduced our nation's ability to work in partnership with Muslim allies in the region. He pledged the country would get out of the nation-building business if he were elected.
"I want to fix our schools, roads, bridges and job market. I want every American to succeed," he said. "Hillary Clinton wants to empty out the Treasury to bring people into the country that include individuals who preach hate against our own citizens.
"I want to protect our citizens—all of our citizens."
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